This time it was different.
Just different, that’s all.
‘I’m not sure about this.’
Why not? You are the protagonist in this story, what could happen to you?
‘That’s just it.’
What do you mean?
‘This could be one of those stories where the protagonist doesn’t make it out alive. You’ve done that before.’
So what? You are only fictional.
‘Only fictional? Are you saying that fictional people don’t matter?’
Of course, you matter. Where would I be, where would the stories be, without fictional characters?’
What do you mean by that?
‘I mean it is about time you authors showed us fictional characters a bit more respect, that’s all.’
I do. I have a great deal of respect for you.
‘Are you sure?’
Yes. Now can we get back to the story?
‘So why did I end up in bed with that woman in the last chapter?’
You are the main protagonist, you always get the woman. It’s in your contract.
‘But that woman?’
What about her. I spent ages giving her a very sexy descriptive paragraph when you met. I remember you couldn’t take your eyes off her.
‘She tried to stab me in my sleep.’
I thought you wanted to be a hard-bitten action hero?
‘Well, I do. But I would like a chance for a bit of sleep every now and then, especially after you’ve had me chasing villains for several paragraphs – nearly a whole chapter.’
I thought it would be exciting.
‘You could have a least let me go to the toilet beforehand. Leaping across the roofs of multi-storey buildings is not fun with a full bladder, especially when my fear of heights is one of my character flaws.’
I thought the vertigo made you a more sympathetic character, especially when… Oh, hang on, we haven’t got to that bit yet, have we?
‘I don’t like the sound of that.’
No, really. It will be good. Trust me. You’ll come out of it with all the readers rooting for you.
It is the sort of scene that gets a movie deal.
‘A movie deal?’
I thought you’d like that.
‘Knowing my luck we’ll get a movie deal, and I’ll end up being played by some Hollywood short-arse that looks nothing like my character. Like I said, it is about time you writers started treating us characters better. Selling us off to the film industry and letting them pick someone who looks nothing like us as you’ve made us. All just because they are big box office and you want a bigger house. It’s not fair.’
But you could become a household name.
‘A household name that looks, acts and is all wrong? Totally the wrong person for my character. This character is me. How do you think it feels to suddenly become some Hollywood short-arse who has to stand on a box to kiss the female lead?’
What is this obsession with short people?
‘It’s not my fault. It was you that made me a six-foot-six mixed martial arts expert.’
I could rewrite you.
‘Typical, as soon as one of us stars standing up for ourselves you get all defensive.’
Preoccupied with his doubts, the hero did not notice that, behind him, a door opened and the barrel of a pistol appeared in the gap.
‘I’ll tell you something else about equal rights for protagoni-’
The gun roared in the enclosed room, and the protagonist fell to the floor.
‘You bastard. Typical bloody writer.’ He died.
Right, time for a 2nd draft.